>> Communications sent on 5th March 2018
Dear Gavin Shuker,
We understand that the Saudi Crown Prince will be visiting the UK next week and meeting with the Prime Minister.
As our MP, we would like you to urgently contact the Prime Minister ahead of this meeting. We are concerned about the human tragedy happening in Yemen at the hands of the Saudi Arabian military. Please ask her to call for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen.
>> Response received on 7th March 2018
Thank you for contacting me recently about the conflict in Yemen and the role of Saudi Arabia. This is an issue that I am increasingly concerned about and have raised in Parliament.
The visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the UK has rightly drawn attention to the ongoing suffering in Yemen caused by the dreadful conflict there. The humanitarian situation in many parts of the country is extremely dire. Over 10,000 people have been killed since 2014 and several million people are at risk of famine.
There is no military solution to this conflict, and it is vital that a peaceful, negotiated resolution can be secured. It is incredibly disappointing therefore that, despite promises from the Government to bring a ceasefire resolution to the UN Security Council in October 2016, there has been no progress on this.
I have shared my deep concern about potential violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) in Yemen for some time now. This is why I have consistently called for a comprehensive, independent, UN-led investigation into alleged violations of IHL in Yemen, including air strikes on civilians by the Saudi-led coalition. I also believe the Government should impose an immediate suspension on any further arms sales for use in the Yemen conflict until such an investigation has concluded. Human rights should be at the heart of our foreign policy and resolving this situation could not be more urgent.
The people of Yemen have suffered so much throughout this ongoing conflict and the Government must now play its part in bringing it to an end. I have long been calling on the Government to use its influence to secure a UN resolution demanding an immediate ceasefire and resumption of peace talks in Yemen and I can assure you that I will continue to do so.
Thank you once again for writing to me and for sharing your views.
Gavin Shuker MP
Labour and Co-operative Member of Parliament for Luton South